LAWA CEO Message

Extension of the Safer at Home Orders, New Protocols and Looking to the Future

Team LAWA, 

I hope you were able to enjoy your weekend and find ways to connect virtually with family and friends during this time of social distancing. The highlights of my weekend were an Easter Zoom call with my six brothers and sisters and Mom and Dad, and some long walks in our neighborhood with my wife. The part I want to forget is the time I spent in front of the mirror in horror at the prospect of having to resort to my wife or daughter cutting my hair. 

By now, most of you have seen that last Friday, Mayor Garcetti announced that the Safer at Home orders will be extended through at least Friday, May 15. This means that for LAWA, we will also be extending our telecommuting guidelines through that date and all those who can work from home must work from home until the Safer at Home orders are lifted. 

Additionally, the Mayor shared new directives regarding the operations of essential businesses. The orders include the requirements, effective Tuesday, April 14, at 11:59 pm, that employees wear face coverings, posting of signage instructing those who are sick not to enter a facility, and marking six-foot increments where individuals may form a line so guests can maintain social distancing. Our team is working with the City to better understand how the orders apply to us and with our partners (airlines, concessions, contractors, construction companies, etc.) to implement these orders to the greatest extent practicable. We already have implemented many of these measures as best practices. 

What this means for all of us is that we must continue to wear face coverings when we are in public, whether it be in the terminals, on the airfield, or in other areas where there are a lot of people. Also, only those who have offices in our administrative buildings and have received permission from their Deputy Executive Director will be allowed into those buildings. We also are asking everyone who must come into LAX or VNY for work to stay in one place to the extent possible, so as not to spread germs and to protect those who must move throughout our airports to maintain our safety, security, cleanliness and operations. Finally, as we have said from the beginning, you must continue to practice frequent and thorough handwashing or sanitizing, refrain from touching your face, eyes, mouth, nose or ears, maintain social distancing and do not leave your home if you are sick, unless your medical provider has told you to do so in order to receive medical attention. 

I know as this year began, none of us could have imagined the world as it is today. Right now, it’s also difficult to imagine a return to normal. But we know that day will come though it will be a return to a new normal, with new protocols and ways of operating to ensure the safety and health of all those who travel and work at our airports. Your executive team is working diligently to ensure that we are ready for when we can come back to our offices and our guests begin to fly again. We know that our airports will look different in the near future and there will be new ways that we will need to operate when the Safer at Home orders are lifted. That is why I am working with airport leadership from around the country and the world to discuss how we can come back stronger, safer and more secure than ever, so that our guests feel comfortable coming to our airports again. 

While we are focused on today, we also look ahead to our future one with new infrastructure, technology and innovation that will once again transform our airports and put LAX and VNY on the leading edge of our industry. Even as we stay Safer at Home, many of our construction projects continue to move forward and we are looking for ways to expedite this work and take advantage of the reduction in traffic. And we continue to look for ways to reduce expenditures, streamline our processes and create a budget for the coming fiscal year that reflects the reality that has been created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Thank you as always for your dedication to our team and your flexibility as we adapt to new directives and recommendations. If you have any questions about the extension of the Safer at Home orders or any of the new directives, please contact your supervisor. 

Have a productive and positive week. 

Justin Erbacci 
Interim CEO, LAWA